Musicians react to their 2024 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions

Musicians react to their 2024 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions, as well as the end of a long-running snub.
Artist For Action Concert Benefit For Sandy Hook Promise
Artist For Action Concert Benefit For Sandy Hook Promise / Dia Dipasupil/GettyImages

How have some musicians reacted to their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognition for 2024? The wait has been lengthy for Peter Frampton, but he said "It's been very exciting..." With the announcement of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Frampton has awaited this moment for 26 years as a solo artist. The exhilarating news "hasn't really sunk in yet. I think I'm a little bit in shock, and speechless," Frampton shared with Billboard from his Nashville home.

"I never expected this. People always said, 'You should be in.' I said, 'Eh, what is to be, y'know? So mixed emotions, because it’s something that I just never expected, whereas other people did for me. It’s wonderful."

Frampton was also thrilled to have finished second in the fan vote with 528,000 votes, trailing only the Dave Matthews Band. "You never quite know how you are regarded," Frampton explained. "I don’t think about that; I just do my thing. But ending up in the number two position blew me away, actually. It’s an honor people regard me in this way. I’m just honored and blown away."

Peter Frampton worked to make it happen

During his recent concert tour, Frampton encouraged fan voting by talking about his nomination and displaying a QR code that directed fans to the voting site (you can watch this moment here)

"That was wonderful," he recalled. "Every night when I said, ‘I got this phone call a couple months ago...and my managers told me I’m being nominated for the Rock…’ I never got out ‘Fame’ — they just went berserk, the audience, every night, and it made me feel like, ‘Well, they think I deserve to be in.’ So that was very, very nice from the word go. It’s quite uncanny we would be touring during the public voting, so every night I could hopefully get a few hundred out of the couple of thousand, three thousand that were in the audience. And it made a difference."

Frampton began his career as a teen star in England, achieved worldwide fame with Humble Pie, and solidified his legacy with his 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive!, with hits like "Show Me the Way", "Baby, I Love Your Way", and "I'm in You" (a song which Frank Zappa famously parodied). He views the 2024 Rock Hall class as "a wonderful class to be involved with."

What about Foreigner?

Michael Bluestein, Kelly Hansen, Mick Jones, Thom Gimbel, Jeff Pilson, Bruce Watson
Foreigner Performs Live On SiriusXM's Classic Rewind At "The Garage" In The SiriusXM Hollywood / Vivien Killilea/GettyImages

Foreigner's leader and guitarist Mick Jones is also thrilled about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, saying "The leadership of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Chairman, John Sykes, and Nominating Committee Chairman, Rick Krim, has brought a new era of inclusivity and relevance that reflects all that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame should be, and we are proud to become a part of it. Long may it continue."

"I think it means more to me now than perhaps 20 years ago," Jones told Billboard. "I’ve had a great career, and this is like the whipped cream and cherry on top. It’s something I will savor over the years. It’s a great honor to be included amongst all these great artists that have been inducted over the years."

Rick Wills, Foreigner’s bassist from 1979 to 1993, echoed the excitement. "We’re more than thrilled. It’s been over 20 years since we’ve been waiting for this day," he told Billboard. "I suppose we were frustrated, to be perfectly honest, but we tried to hide it as best we could because we didn’t want to appear like we were sad people (laughs). I mean what else could you do but what we’ve done already with our music, and what people have appreciated and enjoyed? We didn’t understand why we didn’t get that recognition."

Despite their successful career and over 100 million albums sold, the Hall of Fame always seemed out of reach for Foreigner, who never received a nomination before 2024. "Occasionally it might have entered my mind," Mick Jones said. "I certainly haven’t been overly consumed by it. Every year was the same thing, so eventually I didn’t really worry about it." Singer Lou Gramm has revealed that, at the event, he would have mixed feelings about playing "I Want to Know What Love Is," as he doesn't want Foreigner to only be seen as a soft rock band.


Why wasn't Foreigner inducted sooner? The long-standing snub was often attributed to Jann Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine and the Hall of Fame. Last year, original singer Lou Gramm claimed Wenner once said, “It’ll be a cold day in hell before Foreigner gets into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.” After Wenner was removed from the Hall's board of directors for controversial remarks about Black and female artists, Foreigner finally received their first nomination. Wenner claimed no prominent female musician he ever spoke to was "articulate enough" to make his list of "the philosophers of rock," as an example.

Now we know that, in addition to the other controversies, he apparently also let his personal views get in the way of Foreigner's induction, despite the popularity of the group (and yes, their record sales).

It's also odd to exclude Foreigner while allowing other decidedly less rock-oriented acts to get inducted. Inductees in the Performer Category for 2024 include Mary J. Blige, Cher, Dave Matthews Band, Kool & The Gang, Ozzy Osbourne, and A Tribe Called Quest. While Ozzy is certainly a "rocker," a few of those acts do not necessarily belong in the rock genre, However, they were added because "Rock 'n' roll is an ever-evolving amalgam of sounds that impacts culture and moves generations," according to John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

The Performer Category honors "artists who have created music whose originality, impact, and influence has changed the course of rock & roll." In any case, Foreigner belongs in the Rock Hall at least as much as Mary J. Blige, right?

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